Hot Web Stocks?

Internet Awards

Hughes’s Forecast:

Women and Money

Seed Stage Capital:

PE Awards Dinner

Journalism Seminar

Finding Volunteers

Honoring Student

Free Classes

Corporate Angels

Corrections or additions?

Cloning, Cloning

These articles were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on

February 24, 1999. All rights reserved.

Cloning is a metaphor and a mirror," writes New

York Times science reporter Gina Kolata in her book "Clone,"

published last year. "It allows us to look at ourselves and our

values and to decide what is important to us and why. It also reflects

the place of science in our world. Do we see science as a threat or

a promise? What would it do to us as a people to think that the rich

could have replacement parts?"

These are some of the questions to be addressed by the first international

student bioethics conference on Friday and Saturday, February 26 and

27, at Princeton University. For information call 609-258-3371.

Ian Wilmut, scientist at the Roslin Institute in Scotland and

cloner of the sheep, Dolly, speaks on Friday at 8 p.m in Richardson

Auditorium. On Saturday, Roy Vagelos, chairman of the University

of Pennsylvania board of trustees and former chairman of Merck and

Co., and Steve Fodor, president and CEO of Affymetrix Inc.,

the company that developed the GeneChip system, will be the keynote

speakers in McCosh 50.

Panelists include Kolata and Princeton University professors Leon

Rosenberg, Lee Silver, Burton Singer, and Shirley Tilghman.

From other ivory towers will come John Arras and James Childress,

from University of Virginia; Daniel W. Brock, Brown University;

Robert M. Donaldson Jr., Yale Medical School; Norm Fost,

University of Wisconsin-Madison; Rebecca Holmes-Farley, Boston

University; Allen Keller, New York University; Daniel Kevles,

California Institute of Technology; Donald Light, University

of Pennsylvania; Ruth Macklin, Albert Einstein College of Medicine;

Greg Pence, University of Alabama; Lainie Ross, University

of Chicago; Mark Sagoff, University of Maryland; and Bonnie

Steinbock, State University of New York.

Judy Chambers, Monsanto Corporation; Carl Feldbaum, Biotechnology

Industry Organization; Audiey C. Kao, American Medical Association;

and Lois Wingerson, author and editor of HMS Beagle, will also

present their views on the subject.

Ian Wilmut developed the technology for preserving frozen embryos,

which is now widely used in animal breeding and in-vitro fertilization

(U.S. 1, March 5, 1997 and January 21, 1998). His company, an offshoot

of a government-funded research laboratory, was interested in cloning

to further its work in transgenic animals, which are animals genetically

engineered for medical purposes, such as producing medically useful

proteins in their milk or even growing organs that may be able to

be used as transplants in humans.

To clone Dolly, Wilmut and his colleagues took a mammary gland cell

from a six-year-old sheep, and by depriving the cell of nutrients

in the laboratory put the cell’s DNA into a semi-dormant state. Wilmut

then removed the nucleus of a sheep egg cell taken from a different

ewe, and inserted the mammary cell into the now nucleus-free egg cell.

Wilmut then zapped the two combined cells with a jolt of electricity,

and to general amazement the combined cells acted like a fertilized

egg cell and began to divide, using the DNA from the mammary cell

as its genetic blueprint. He then implanted the now developing embryo

into yet another ewe, and in a few months Dolly was born, an exact

genetic copy of the ewe from which the mammary cell had been taken.

This technique threw into question previously accepted theories about

the nature of DNA. Scientists had believed that once DNA was in a

specialized cell — such as a mammary gland cell, a nerve cell,

or a muscle cell — it had lost its ability to issue the generalized

commands for all kinds of cells required to create an embryo, and

from that a whole animal. Although scientists had already cloned embryos,

and although Wilmut himself previously took the nucleus from the cell

of a developing embryo and successfully implanted it in an unfertilized

egg cell, few believed cloning using DNA from a specialized cell,

as was achieved by Wilmut with Dolly, was possible.

Kolata, the Princeton-based author and science reporter, will lead

one of the precepts on Friday. Research on cloning could result in

wonderful new drug factories, Kolata points out. A Dolly-like cloned

sheep or cow could be cloned with a gene that would produce a particular

drug in the milk. Instead of paying millions of dollars for each teaspoon

of the drug, the cow would produce pails of it. Or cloning could allow

someone to have their own bone marrow cloned. It could allow the creation

of a new organ with no danger of rejection.

Take the case of a mother who desperately needed a kidney for her

15-year-old daughter and had another baby so she could donate one

of the baby’s kidneys to her older sister. How different is that,

ethically, from cloning a kidney?

But the "just suppose" possibilities fascinate her nonetheless.

Even now, would-be parents can choose an egg donor and choose a sperm

donor, have the fertilized egg implanted in a uterus, and have an

"almost just-like-us" baby. But Kolata poses the question,

"Suppose I can add a gene that is resistant to Alzheimer’s, how

is that different from a vaccination against Alzheimer’s? Each of

us will draw the line in different places."

— Barbara Figge Fox

Top Of Page
Hot Web Stocks?

Remember Biotechs

<B>Michael D. Becker compares Internet stocks with

biotechnology companies in 1991. "Any investor who purchased these

stocks near their peaks in late 1991 would have to wait many years

in order to get their initial investment back — if ever,"

writes Becker, a bear on Internet companies if ever there were one.

Becker speaks to the Biotechnology Council of New Jersey on Wednesday,

March 3, at 8:30 a.m., at the Marriott. Cost: $50. Call 609-890-3185.

Becker, an investment executive and analyst at Chicago-based Wayne

Hummer Investments LLC, wrote those remarks as editor of his newsletter

"Beck on Bio Tech" available by E-mail at mbecker@whhummer.com

or by calling 800-621-4477.

Becker lists some gruesome examples, illustrative of his grim warning.

But he notes some "unlikely investors" are putting their money

down on public biotech companies, "investors who typically don’t

even buy publicly traded companies." By this he means venture

capitalists. "Clearly, when investors who traditionally look for

`ground floor’ opportunities start to purchase stock in publicly traded

companies, they must see tremendous value."

Becker’s newsletter cited Liposome as an example of a company that

looks good because of its "robust" pipeline. Liposome recently

announced that it would report its first quarterly profit in its 17-year

history.

Top Of Page
Internet Awards

Has the Internet revolutionized the way your organization

does business? Does your organization have a leading-edge website

or E-Commerce site? Does your website bring something valuable and

exciting to your users? Is your organization, through its leadership,

accomplishments, and contributions, driving the Internet industry

forward?

Technology New Jersey will recognize companies with the Internet Excellence

Award and the Internet Innovator Award. If you feel you qualify, visit

http://www.technologynj.org and fill out the nomination form

by Sunday, February 28.

Judges include representatives from Apple Computer, Dow Jones Interactive,

Lucent Technologies, New Jersey Online, PricewaterhouseCoopers, TranSys,

and U.S. 1 Newspaper. Winners will be announced at the TNJ Awards

for Internet Excellence Gala held on Tuesday, April 27, at the Hyatt.

For more information call Grace Polhemus at 609-419-4444 or

E-mail: polhemus@technologynj.org.

Top Of Page
Hughes’s Forecast:

NJ’s Leading Edge

In the midst of global economic turmoil and French president

Jacques Chirac’s talk of the need for rapid reform of the international

financial system if world growth is to continue, how is New Jersey’s

economy faring? "Economically, it doesn’t get much better than

this," says James W. Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein

School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers and one of the state’s

best known economic prognosticators.

On Friday, February 26, at 8 a.m., Hughes will give his version of

the economic forecast to the Middlesex Chamber at DeVry Institute

on Route 1 North in North Brunswick. Also on the program are Joseph

Gonzales Jr., who will present the results of a survey taken by

the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, and Business News

New Jersey’s George Taber, who will moderate. Cost: $15. Call

732-821-1700.

Hughes is a nationally recognized academic expert on demographics,

housing, and regional economics, and since 1988 he has been the director

of the Rutgers Regional Report. This report "studies the economy,

demographics, and housing, both in New Jersey and the tri-state region,"

Hughes explains. The tri-state region covers 31 counties in New York,

north central New Jersey, and Connecticut. For the next report, studies

are being done on something very germane to Route 1: New Jersey’s

emerging wealth belt. "It’s really a shift of population, wealth,

and jobs from the older portions of the state to the central portions,"

Hughes says. The report is expected to be out late this spring (http://www.policy.rutgers.edu.)

Jointly with Sitar Company Oncor International real estate services,

the Bloustein School published this month’s Sitar-Rutgers Regional

Report. Hughes and Joseph J. Seneca coauthored an article "Surprising

Economic Momentum." A free copy is available by calling 732-283-9000

or go to http://www.sitarcompany.com.

Before being appointed dean, Hughes was the chair and graduate director

of the Rutgers Department of Urban Planning from 1983 to 1988. A Rutgers

graduate, Class of ’65, he has authored or coauthored 32 books and

monographs. He has also written more than 125 articles, most of these

on housing, demographics, and economic development patterns. His latest

monograph, "Regional Economic Long Waves," takes a long, historical

look at the long waves and shifts of economic change — both in

New Jersey and the tri-state region — from the late 1960s to the

mid 1990s.

"The broad region has been losing position nationally," says

Hughes. "Throughout both growth periods and recessionary periods,

the 31-county region, the three states in total, has been lagging

the nation. So, we have been losing a share among the nation’s population

in jobs," says Hughes.

"Second, within the region, New Jersey has been the outstanding

performer, but we still have lagged the nation in general. Allied

to that is the suburban ring of New Jersey, the metropolitan periphery,

the suburban counties. Even though the region’s lagging, it has outperformed

the nation as a whole, so we have the differential pattern of suburbanization

in there," continues Hughes.

"And then the structure of the economy has changed dramatically

in that the economy has become narrower. Once we were a manufacturing

region. Now we are under represented in manufacturing relative to

the nation." New Jersey has a far higher degree of concentration

in services than in the nation as a whole, "so we’ve essentially

reinvented the economy over the past three and a half decades,"

says Hughes.

In particular, two things have facilitated much of the state’s economic

change: the high quality and the high education level of the work

force and the coming of the information age economy. "We’ve become

really a post-industrial, knowledge-based, information-dependent economy,"

says Hughes. "So, we’re really at the nation’s leading edge."

The information age has incorporated computer technology into all

dimensions of the economy, but despite the importance of computers

in our information-age economy, Hughes foresees no major problems

concerning the possible upcoming Y2K Crisis. "I’m sort of confused

by it — like everybody else, because I think the major problems

are going to be the little ones that we can’t foresee. But I think

our major systems should survive," he says.

Demographic change, as well as both the changing economy and the regional

economy, has favorably impacted the New Jersey housing market. "New

Jersey is a slow growth state, so our housing industry is extraordinarily

profitable right now — for homebuilders — even though the

actual number of units being built lags what we did in the 1980s,

1970s, and 1960s. Overall, the volume of home sales nationally is

at record levels; in New Jersey, it’s the best housing year since

the 1980s, in terms of sales," says Hughes. "From 1980 to

’88 home prices from ’80 to ’88 nationally went up 45 percent; in

New Jersey they went up by 145 percent.

"Capital investment has been one of the major locomotives of economic

growth," says Hughes. "The low interest rates, the performance

of the stock market, initial public offerings, and the like have been

wonderful for capital investment for the corporate sector."

While the recent Russian default and the ongoing problems with the

Japanese economy initially seemed to threaten our economy, the greater

potential for economic danger for the United States — and New

Jersey — would be the collapse of South American currencies. Despite

all this worldwide global economic turmoil, however, "the economic

fundamentals of the state are as good as they’ve been in the past

generation," says Hughes. "There’s no inflation; interest

rates are low; unemployment is extraordinarily low; job growth and

incomes have been strong; and we have an economy that really is at

the leading edge of the nation of the information era."

"It’s February. It’s the 95th month of economic expansion nationally,

so we are now in the longest peacetime expansion ever, and it’s the

second longest expansion ever," explains Hughes. "The longest

one was the 106 months of ’61 to ’69. So in January, 2000, we will

have tied that 106-month mark. So, if we make it — and I think

we will — to next February, we will be in uncharted territory.

It will be the longest expansion in the nation’s history."

— Catherine J. Barrier

Top Of Page
Women and Money

Women-owned enterprises can qualify for loans up to

$250,000 under programs offered by the New Jersey Economic Development

Authority. The EDA provides financing for small businesses, minority

owned, and women owned enterprises to float loans that average $40,000

to $50,000. The EDA joins with Trenton Business Assistance Corporation

and area banks to participate in lending partnerships for the Women’s

Prequalification Program or the Merchant Loan Program, which allows

loans up to $250,000 to be packaged for pre-approval by the Small

Business Administration.

Beth E. Sztuk, deputy director, New Jersey Economic Development

Authority (NJEDA), will discuss "Financing Programs and Services

for the Beginning Business," on Wednesday, February 24, at 7:45

a.m. at the Nassau Club for the Princeton YWCA’s Business/Professional

Women’s Breakfast Series. Price: $20. Call 609-252-2006 or 609-497-2103

for reservations.

Sztuk majored in sociology at Muhlenberg College and has an MBA in

finance from Seton Hall; she also went to the Wharton School’s Advanced

Management Program. She has been a paralegal coordinator with a Newark-based

law firm, a financial analyst in Philadelphia, and an assistant vice

president at Financial Services Corp. of New York. Sztuk was a principal

with Government and Financial Services, an accounting business that

consults to New Jersey-based governments and public authorities, and

assistant director of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Sztuk joined the EDA in 1994; she manages the Authority’s $10 million

budget and has been responsible for the $2.5 million venture capital

investment, and for the $20 million loan fund recapitalization. For

more EDA information, call 609-292-1800; fax, 609-292-5722, http://www.njeda.com.

Most banks are not comfortable with adding debt to businesses that

have less than a five-year track record, says Sztuk, but businesses

that have been up and running for at least one year can qualify for

the EDA Loan Pool.

Under this program, the EDA ranks second to the bank lenders in terms

of who gets paid first if the business fails. The bank can choose

to have the EDA guarantee part of the loan (agreeing to step in in

case of failure) or participate in the loan (providing up front money

at a lower interest rate.)

Applicants should provide financial statements and projections and

realistic sales projections and how you will achieve those projections.

If you need $100,000 for equipment, the EDA "buys" a $25,000

piece of the loan, and on this piece the interest rate is below market.

This lower interest rate would save you $1,000, which you could use

for buying more materials or for inventory.

The EDA also provides direct loans of up to $500,000 for fixed assets

and up to $250,000 for working capital for up to 10 years.

The SBA 504 Certified Development Company Program funds up to $750,000

for existing businesses to secure long term fixed rate financing for

major fixed assets like land, building, machinery, etc. That usually

includes 40 percent from the SBA, 50 percent from a bank, and 10 percent

from the owner. The interest is 8 or 9 percent on the SBA money and

the bank’s rate on its money. This program enables the entrepreneur

to get involved in projects that exceed the SBA’s $750,000 limit.

Sztuk was responsible for the recertification of EDA as one of two

certified development companies that can process the SBA 504 loans.

Top Of Page
Seed Stage Capital:

Show Some `Skin’

<B>Fred Beste speaks on "12 Show Me Keys to Attracting

Seed-Stage Capital" and Dan Conley speaks on "Avoiding

the 10 Deadly Sins of Raising Capital" on a program entitled "Raising

Venture Capital: Lessons from the Battlefield" sponsored by the

New Jersey Local Committee of the Licensing Executives Society (LES),

on Wednesday, February 24, at 6 p.m., at the Basking Ridge Country

Club, 185 Madison Road. Cost $30. Call 908-953-8092.

Also speaking on the panel are John Park, general partner and

CFO of the Nassau Street-based Cardinal Health Partners, and Ira

Pastor, director of business development at Photosynthetic Harvest

Inc. of Willingboro.

Beste represents the Mid-Atlantic Venture Funds (610-865-6660). Venture

capitalists, he says, want you to show them some `team skin’ in the

game. Don’t ask a VC for money if you and your people haven’t laid

your own money on the line. He also wants you to show him that your

venture has the following attributes:

1.) Somebody who can sell, preferably the CEO;

2.) A bottoms-up sales projection;

3.) An "unfair" advantage over your competition;

4.) Some respect for the competition;

5.) Some economic sacrifice — and low overhead;

6.) Some passion — a fire in the belly;

7.) Some team depth;

8.) Some reality in the financial projections;

9.) Some valuation reasonableness;

10.) A segmented market target.

Most important, you need to show evidence of consumer interest.

One of the major mistakes that entrepreneurs make is to assume that

a "good idea" is also a money-making idea. Too often, it’s

not.

Top Of Page
PE Awards Dinner

The Professional Engineers Society of Mercer County

will honor Dirk C. Hofman with the "Engineer of the Year"

award at its awards dinner on Saturday, February 27, at 6.30 p.m.

at the Hopewell Valley Golf Club. Cost: $60. Call Rich Williams

at 609-890-3636.

Hofman is executive director of the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure

Trust, an independent authority created to finance the construction

and improvement of wastewater facilities and drinking water projects.

Hofman has almost four decades of experience working with water resources.

The "Young Engineer of the Year" award will be presented to

Steven M. Arbiz, a lead highway engineer for Parsons Brinckerhoff

– FG Inc., who has been involved with the design and coordination

of multidisciplinary projects for the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Arbiz is currently leading the Parsons Brinckerhoff highway design

efforts for the proposed replacement of the Route 1 and 9 T viaduct

in Jersey City.

Catherine DiCostanzo, Mercer County’s first woman county clerk

will be presented with the "Citizen of the Year" award. She

is also president of the Mercer County Chapter of the Sunshine Foundation,

engaged in granting the dreams and wishes of terminally ill, chronically

ill, and handicapped children.

The Hamilton Rail Station and Bus Maintenance Facility will be honored

with the "Project of the Year" award. These two new facilities

of the Hamilton Transit Complex will be critical to the bus and rail

operations of New Jersey Transit in central New Jersey. New Jersey

Transit, Michael Baker Jr. Inc., and R.M. Shoemaker Company will receive

the award for the project.

Top Of Page
Journalism Seminar

For freelance journalists or for just anybody interested

in journalism, the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional

Journalists (SPJ) presents a seminar that promises to answer a lot

of frequently asked questions. For instance, what makes a freelance

journalist — in print, broadcast, or photography — indispensable

to an editor?

The Freelance Journalism Seminar (SPJ) will be held on Saturday, February

27, at 10 a.m. at the Eagleton Institute of Rutgers University in

New Brunswick. Cost: $20 ($10 for students). Call Maureen Nevins

Duffy at 732-985-0720 for more information.

You can learn the ropes or simply compare notes with freelance writers,

editors, and photographers. Panelists include editorial representatives

from the print and electronic media as well as freelance panelists

such as Patricia Lawler, TV producer and on-air reporter; Penny

O. Shaul, desk-top publishing editor; and photojournalist Marie

Anderson Ortiz.

Editorial panelists include Michael St. Peter, assistant news

editor for WOR-TV; Kathleen Casey, travel editor for the Star

Ledger; Alex Saville, an editor with the Princeton Packet; Chris

Hahn, senior editor of NJ Monthly; Diana Lasseter Drake,

managing editor of Business News New Jersey; Anthony Birritteri,

managing editor of New Jersey Business; and Hank Williams, managing

editor of News 12 NJ.

The New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists

works to improve conditions for the journalistic community in New

Jersey. It is the only organization in New Jersey dedicated to the

interests of journalists and people in related fields, including reporters,

editors, producers, public information officers, freelancers, publication,

and radio/TV/cable owners, and anyone else who works to disseminate

information.

The panelists will discuss such topics as what editors want in a story

or assignment pitch, where the freelance editing jobs are, and how

the Internet is being utilized by journalists both for sales and for

research purposes.

Other panels will cover what national magazines and local papers expect

of today’s photographers, what editors expect freelancers to have

in the way of technology, such as E-mail, and what freelancers should

expect in the way of rates and payment practices.

Top Of Page
Finding Volunteers

All those who deal with volunteers in any way, shape,

or form are invited to a quarterly meeting of Mercer County Directors

of Volunteers in Agencies, otherwise known as Dovia. A "round

robin" participatory session on recruitment/retention and recognition

of volunteers will be held on Tuesday, March 2, at 8:30 a.m. at Community

Hospice, 171 Jersey Street, in Trenton. Call Caryl Tipton at

609-815-3648.

Top Of Page
Honoring Student

Entrepreneurs

The Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies at

Fairleigh Dickinson University invites student entrepreneurs to compete

for the New Jersey Collegiate Entrepreneur Awards. This program, affiliated

with the North American Collegiate Entrepreneur Awards competition

sponsored by St. Louis University in Missouri, is open to undergraduate

students in colleges, universities, technical, or career schools in

New Jersey, who run their own businesses.

"With the continuing role of entrepreneurship in our society,

it’s appropriate to recognize and encourage young people who have

started and are running their own businesses while still pursuing

their education," says Leo Rogers, director of Rothman Institute.

Last year’s best collegiate entrepreneurs attended Drew, Rider, and

Rutgers Universities.

The winner of the New Jersey competition will compete with winners

from other states in the North American competition, where the first

place award is $5,000. The sponsors of the competition are Bell Atlantic

and GPU Energy.

The deadline for applications is March 2. Winners will be announced

and honored on April 29. Call James Barrood, assistant director

of the Rothman Institute, at 973-443-8887 for more information. Call

the institute for applications at 973-443-8842, or request them via

E-mail: rothman@fdu.edu.

Top Of Page
Free Classes

For Retirees

The Retiree Chapter of United Auto Workers (UAW) Local

731 is offering free educational and computer skills classes for active

retirees in the Burlington, Mercer, and Bucks County area.

A Joint Skills and Development Center formed under a UAW-General Motors

Contract Agreement provides the following courses free of charge to

any active UAW-General Motors retirees: Introduction to the Personal

Computers using Windows 95, Windows 95, Word 97 (Beginning and Intermediate),

Excel 97 (Beginning and Intermediate).

"It’s never too late to start learning," says program administrator

Jim DiCello. "Over 36 retirees have attended these classes

and there are plenty more who can enjoy and benefit from them."

Classes administered through the Mercer County Community College are

held once a week for 10 weeks at the UAW/GM Transition Center in Lawrence

Township. Call DiCello at 609-912-0707 for more information.

Top Of Page
Corporate Angels

Accountants from Druker, Rahl, and Fein prepared income

tax returns for seniors at Trent Center Apartments East and West in

Trenton for three hours on Thursday, February 18. "The firm promotes

this type of volunteerism with the purpose of developing accounting

professionals who understand their responsibility to volunteer their

time and unique skills to help members of the community in need,"

says Gene Elias, a principal at the firm.

The volunteer program is being coordinated through Accountants for

the Public Interest – New Jersey, a non-profit organization that provides

financial services and education to disadvantaged individuals, special

groups in the community, and other non-profits. Call 732-249-7666

for more information.


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